Master’s studies

Syllabus for Master Programme in Bioinformatics

Masterprogram i bioinformatik

A later update of this programme syllabus has been published.

  • 120 credits
  • Programme code: TBK2M
  • Established: 2008-11-26
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Revised: 2010-11-11
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Syllabus applies from: Autumn 2011
  • Responsible faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology
  • Responsible department: Biology Education Centre

Entry Requirements

A Bachelor's degree in any of the natural sciences, computer science, engineering, mathematics, pharmacy or medicine, equivalent to a Swedish degree of at least 180 credits (i.e. three years of full-time studies). Proficiency in English.

Also required is:
Knowledge in mathematics (e.g. algebra, analysis, differential equations and mathematical statistics) corresponding to approximately 20 weeks full-time studies.
Knowledge in computer science and scientific computing (e.g. numerical analysis, algorithms, data structures and programming) corresponding to approximately 20 weeks full-time studies.

Decisions and Guidelines

1. Decision to offer two-year Master programmes
According to a decision taken by the Vice Chancellor 2006-09-16, Uppsala University will offer two-year Master programmes in biology, computer science, physics, earth science, sustainable development, chemistry, mathematics, computational science and applied biotechnology, all from 2007-07-01. Furthermore according to a decision taken by the Vice Chancellor 2008-06-07 a Master programme in bioinformatics from 2009-07-01.

2. Objectives for a Degree

2.1 Objectives for a Degree of Master (One Year) (Magisterexamen)

Objectives for a Degree of Master (One Year) according to the Higher Education Ordinance, System of Qualifications.

Knowledge and understanding
For a Degree of Master (One Year) students must
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding in their main field of study, including both a broad command of the field and deeper knowledge of certain parts of the field, together with insight into current research and development work; and
- demonstrate deeper methodological knowledge in their main field of study.

Skills and abilities
For a Degree of Master (One Year) students must
- demonstrate an ability to integrate knowledge and to analyse, assess and deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations, even when limited information is available;
- demonstrate an ability to independently identify and formulate issues and to plan and, using appropriate methods, carry out advanced tasks within specified time limits;
- demonstrate an ability to clearly present and discuss their conclusions and the knowledge and arguments behind them, in dialogue with different groups, orally and in writing; and
- demonstrate the skill required to participate in research and development work or to work in other advanced contexts.

Judgement and approach
For a Degree of Master (One Year) students must
- demonstrate an ability to make assessments in their main field of study, taking into account relevant scientific, social and ethical aspects, and demonstrate an awareness of ethical aspects of research and development work;
- demonstrate insight into the potential and limitations of science, its role in society and people’s responsibility for how it is used; and
- demonstrate an ability to identify their need of further knowledge and to take responsibility for developing their knowledge.

2.2 Objectives for a Degree of Master (Two Years) (Masterexamen)
Objectives for a Degree of Master (Two Years) according to the Higher Education Ordinance, System of Qualifications.

Knowledge and understanding
For a Degree of Master (Two Years) students must
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding in their main field of study, including both broad knowledge in the field and substantially deeper knowledge of certain parts of the field, together with deeper insight into current research and development work; and
- demonstrate deeper methodological knowledge in their main field of study.

Skills and abilities
For a Degree of Master (Two Years) students must
- demonstrate an ability to critically and systematically integrate knowledge and to analyse, assess and deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations, even when limited information is available;
- demonstrate an ability to critically, independently and creatively identify and formulate issues and to plan and, using appropriate methods, carry out advanced tasks within specified time limits, so as to contribute to the development of knowledge and to evaluate this work;
- demonstrate an ability to clearly present and discuss their conclusions and the knowledge and arguments behind them, in dialogue with different groups, orally and in writing, in national and international contexts; and - demonstrate the skill required to participate in research and development work or to work independently in other advanced contexts.

Judgement and approach
For a Degree of Master (Two Years) students must
- demonstrate an ability to make assessments in their main field of study, taking into account relevant scientific, social and ethical aspects, and demonstrate an awareness of ethical aspects of research and development work;
- demonstrate insight into the potential and limitations of science, its role in society and people’s responsibility for how it is used; and
- demonstrate an ability to identify their need of further knowledge and to take responsibility for developing their knowledge.

Layout of the Programme

4.10.1 Description of the programme
The aim of this cross-disciplinary Master programme is to educate students in the field of bioinformatics. The scientific field of bioinformatics encompasses molecular biology, genetics and genomics combined with applications of computer science, mathematics and statistics to view, analyse and interpret complex biological data. In this programme the students are presented to both the theory and practical methods of bioinformatics.

The courses in the Master programme are closely connected to active research areas at Uppsala University and in many of the courses the students are introduced to activities at the research departments. In addition, several courses also display on bioinformatic applications in the biotech industry or at governmental agencies.
The degree project is performed at an academic department, a governmental agency or in an industrial setting. For a Master of science degree there is a choice between 30 of 45 credits degree project. For a Swedish “magisterexamen”, a Degree of Master (One Year), a shorter degree project at 15 credits can be performed.

4.10.2 Comprehensive aims of the education
The Master programme in Bioinformatics should give students knowledge and practical skills to solve qualified bioinformatic tasks within biotechnological companies, local and central authorities or as PhD students. Graduated students should be able to independently be responsible for research, development or investigation work within the broad field of bioinformatics.

4.10.3 Aims as expected results of the study
The learning aims of this programme are within the frame of objectives stated in the Higher Education Ordinance (see chapter 2).

Knowledge and understanding
The graduated student should:
• have extensive knowledge within the field of bioinformatics

Skills and abilities
The graduated student should have the skill and ability to:

• use bioinformatic knowledge and practical methods in information searches, data collection, data organisation and analyses to independently solve bioinformatic problems
• formulate and solve bioinformatic problems using models, algorithms and computer programs
• follow the development in the field and to value new data in biology and computer science
• critically analyse scientific models with real examples.
• plan and carry through bioinformatic projects

Judgement and approach
The graduated student should be able to:
• independently perform research, development and/or investigations within the field of bioinformatics
• evaluate aspects of ethics and sustainable development in bioinformatic projects

4.10.4 Programme outline
During the first year of the programme courses according to 4.10.5 are studied with no eligibility except for within the starting course 1MB700. During the second year the students choose 30 or 15 credits from the offered courses in combination with a degree project 30 credits or 45 credits.
A maximum addition of 15 credits of Uppsala University courses can be added on the master study curriculum.

4.10.5 The courses of the programme
The order of courses in the programme can be seen from the outline.

Degree

3.1 Regulations according to Higher Education Ordinance
A Degree of Master (One Year) is obtained after the student has completed course requirements of 60 higher education credits with a certain area of specialisation determined by each higher education institution itself, including at least 30 higher education credits with in-depth studies in the main field of study. In addition, the student must hold a Degree of Bachelor, a Degree of Bachelor of Arts in…, a professional degree worth at least 180 higher education credits or an equivalent foreign qualification.

Exceptions may be made to the requirement of a previous qualification for a student who has been admitted to the educational programme without having had basic eligibility in the form of a qualification. However, this does not apply if in the admissions process an exception has been made under Chapter 7, Section 28, second paragraph on the grounds that there has been insufficient time to issue a qualification certificate.

A Degree of Master (Two Years) is obtained after the student has completed course requirements of 120 higher education credits with a certain area of specialisation determined by each higher education institution itself, including at least 60 higher education credits with in-depth studies in the main field of study. In addition, the student must hold a Degree of Bachelor, a Degree of Bachelor of Arts in…, a professional degree worth at least 180 higher education credits or an equivalent foreign qualification.

Exceptions may be made to the requirement of a previous qualification for a student who has been admitted to the educational programme without having had basic eligibility in the form of a qualification. However, this does not apply if in the admissions process an exception has been made under Chapter 7, Section 28, second paragraph on the grounds that there has been insufficient time to issue a qualification certificate.

Independent project (degree project)
For a Degree of Master (One Year) students must have completed an independent project (degree project) worth at least 15 higher education credits in their main field of study, within the framework of the course requirements.

For a Degree of Master (Two Years) students must have completed an independent project (degree project) worth at least 30 higher education credits in their main field of study, within the framework of the course requirements. The independent project may comprise less than 30 higher education credits, but not less than 15 higher education credits, if the student has already completed an independent project at the second level worth at least 15 higher education credits in their main field of study, or an equivalent project in a foreign educational programme.

3.2 Local regulations
Main fields for a Degree of Master (One Year) and a Degree of Master (Two Years) at the Faculty of Science and Technology are Biology, Computer Science, Physics, Earth Science, Sustainable Development, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computational Science and Applied Biotechnology.

A Degree of Master (one year ) may, except for courses on advanced level, contain one or several courses on basic level comprising not more than 15 higher education credits. A degree of Master ( two years ) may, except for courses on advanced level, contain one or several courses on basic level comprising not more than 30 higher education credits. The course or the courses are meant to provide such additional competence as is needed for in-depth studies in the main field of study and cannot be included in the student’s basic degree.

For a Degree of Master (Two Years) students must have completed an independent project (degree project) worth at least 30 higher education credits.

Other Directives

In the course plans the following is stated concerning prerequisites and recommended prerequisites
Prerequisites: These requirements should be fulfilled in order to admit the student to the course. Recommended prerequisites: The prerequisites that are stated here are not required to be admitted to the course. The student as to accept that a harder workload is needed if the recommended prerequisites are not fulfilled.

Students who, outside the programme, have acquired equivalent qualifications corresponding to at least 15 credits on advanced level in addition to the degree at Bachelor’s level, may apply to be accepted to a later part of the programme. The application deadline is for the autumn term May 1 and for the spring term December 1.

4.10.7 Grade and examination
The general framework for assessment and retakes are settled in the course syllabi, but the details concerning the assessment for a particular course instance can vary and are clearly announced at the latest at the beginning of a course. The purpose of this arrangement is to offer flexibility for a responsible teacher to select an appropriate assessment method for the course instance, in dialogue with the programme coordinator and the relevant director of studies.

4.10.8 Courses together in a degree
Some courses cannot be considered in a degree together. Which courses this concern will be pointed out in each course syllabus.

4.10.9 Qualification and diploma
Upon request, a student who has received a pass grade in a course is to receive a course certificate from the higher education institution. Upon request, a student who meets the requirements for a qualification is to receive a diploma from the higher education institution.

A Degree of Master (One Year) is obtained after the student has completed course requirements of 60 higher education credits with a certain area of specialisation determined by each higher education institution itself, including at least 30 higher education credits with in-depth studies in bioinformatics. For a Degree of Master (One Year) students must have completed an independent project (degree project) worth at least 15 higher education credits in bioinformatics, within the framework of the course requirements.

A Degree of Master (Two Years) is obtained after the student has completed course requirements of 120 higher education credits with a certain area of specialisation determined by each higher education institution itself, including at least 60 higher education credits with in-depth studies in bioinformatics. For a Degree of Master (Two Years) students must have completed an independent project (degree project) worth at least 30 higher education credits in bioinformatics, within the framework of the course requirements. A degree of Master (Two Years) may, except for courses on advanced level, contain one or several courses on basic level comprising not more than 30 higher education credits.